Lately I’ve been making up my own tier list in regards to how intelligent the Sonic cast is, as it’s an interesting thing to think about in my opinion. So now that it’s done, I’m gonna show my list to you guys and see what you think. Obviously not every character in the game universe is listed since that would take forever, and there were a few other characters who I wasn’t sure about.
What do you agree on? What do you disagree on? Or do you have your own intelligence tier list you would like to share? All responses are welcome. :)
GENIUS TIER Robotnik - Obviously.
Gerald - I realise that Ivo himself considered Gerald to be the greatest mind there ever was at the time of Adventure 2, and yeah, I can see why. However, I think the doctor’s own achievements - and the sheer amount of said achievements - have surpassed his grandaddy’s by THIS point in the series at least. (Also, Gerald’s dead, so it doesn’t matter either way.) All the same, Gerald was a very gifted man to have created a lifeform like Shadow, as well as other accomplishments like the Artificial Chaos and the Space Colony A.R.K. Especially when you remember that he lived during a time in which the world as a whole was much less advanced.
Tails - How many kids do you know who can create different types of highly advanced contraptions and vehicles like it’s nothing? Let alone fake Chaos Emeralds?
VERY HIGH TIER Wave - Her engineering prowess speaks for itself.
Rouge - Comes with the job. An expert in infiltration and hacking, a master of deception, and an expert treasure hunter. Given how she explained Soleanna’s monarchy system to Shadow at the drop of a hat, that would also indicate she’s well read and capable of remembering a large amount of info.
Blaze - More to do with implication, but she did once ask Tails if he can build a device that scans and analyses plasma and electromagnetic signals, in a tone that implied she knew what she was talking about.
HIGH TIER Sonic - Being able to avoid obstacles and fellow citizens with no issue at such insane speeds would imply that Sonic has a sharp mind and thought process. He’s also been shown on numerous occasions to adapt very quickly to unfamiliar situations, and his advice is usually profound in it’s simplicity.
Shadow - He doesn’t always have it right, but most of the time he’ll figure out what’s going on pretty quickly. And since the Black Arms incident, he’s also been wise to villainous trickery.
Erazor - Played his cards right from start to finish. Didn’t really make any especially stupid decisions, and made great use of what he had to work with.
Metal Sonic - Another one born out of implication, but given how he was created to be a match for Sonic in every way, I would assume Metal is just as clever as the real deal. He was pretty sharp in the OVA at least.
Merlina - She managed to keep Sonic distracted from her plan for long enough, all the while doing a competent job at portraying herself as a helpless bystander.
Zavok - He had a simple plan, but it was an effective one. He was also good at rolling with the punches whenever things didn’t go his way. Definitely the most intelligent of the Deadly Six. (Aside from maybe Master Zik, but that’s up for debate.)
Vector - Despite his occasionally bumbling attitude, he’s still the brains of the Chaotix at the end of the day, and his deduction skills have proven to be accurate most of the time. (Note how he correctly guessed that someone was pulling the Time Eater’s strings.)
AVERAGE TIER Knuckles - He may be incredibly gullible, but he also knows a lot about ancient history, and like Rouge, he’s a very skilled treasure hunter.
Espio - Maybe he should be higher, but we haven’t seen much to know for sure…
Amy - Can be ditzy at times, but generally has a good amount of common sense, and despite the lack of focus on it, her skill with tarot cards would add further evidence to her being far from stupid.
Marine - She was able to create a decent ship in spite of her boisterous personality.
Cream - Naturally her youthful innocence makes her a little naive, but she’s still prone to surprising moments of insightfulness.
Big - Some fans might think he should be lower, but one of the themes with Big is that he’s simple, not dumb (something Bioware clearly forgot, despite hyping their Big up as being more intelligent than SEGA’s Big). And given how we’ve seen him do things like piloting the Tornado - a plane he was unfamiliar with - without any obvious trouble, he may be more on-the-ball than most fans give him credit for.
LOW TIER Jet - He probably isn’t that stupid overall, but aside from his legitimate hoverboard skills, his arrogance makes him out to be a bit of a fool more often than not. Usually more bark than bite.
Silver - Despite his incredible powers and competence with using said powers, he’s proven to be very foolish, and doesn’t often plan things out that well.
Charmy - He has to be somewhat competent to still be working with the Chaotix, but he’s generally an airhead.
VERY LOW TIER Storm - Clueless individual in general. Mostly a yes-man through and through.
A lot of people feel that the pre-2010 Sonic games had great character development. Do you agree with this?
On the whole, not really. Because I don’t think the best moments of such are as common as some people think.
Yes, there were definitely several moments of good character development prior to 2010, such as Tails/Amy/Gamma in Adventure 1, and Blaze in the Rush series. Even ‘06 of all games didn’t do too badly in the case of Shadow.
But a lot of other examples, I wouldn’t consider that great. For one reason or another.
You have examples like Chip in Unleashed, in which for most of the game he’s been little more than the goofy chocolate-loving sidekick, then SUDDENLY near the end, he has all his memories and thus he reveals himself as the almighty Light Gaia. The progression of this development feels very forced and half-hearted, in my opinion.
Then you have examples like Metal Sonic in Heroes, whose character development I would consider a detriment rather than a positive. The identity crisis angle is a cool idea on it’s own, but why is Metal suddenly interested in taking over the world and ruling his own robot kingdom, when none of that has anything to do with his desire to be the real Sonic? (And no, I don’t consider “being insane” a Get Out of Questionable Characterisation Free Card.)
And of course, you have the numerous examples of characters only worsening rather than developing, such as Amy in Battle, Knuckles in ‘06, and even Tails in Unleashed to a minor extent (are we expected to believe that Tails couldn’t take on a group of the weakest Dark Gaia mooks on his own?), among plenty of other cases.
Even with the likes of Sonic himself in both Storybooks, he’s ultimately going through the motions regarding his personality traits rather than actually changing anything about himself. Do those games highlight who he is and what he stands for in a commendable way? Sure. But I wouldn’t consider that the same thing as a legitimate example of character development.
So on the whole, there have been some great moments of character development in the pre-2010 era to be sure, but not nearly as many as fans would have you believe.
Do you have a top 10 favourite character list? You just mentioned that Amy is number 3, and you've made it pretty obvious that Sonic is number 1, but what about the others?
#1 - SONIC
Game, X, Boom, post-reboot Archie and OVA versions ONLY. I deeply dislike his pre-reboot Archie, Fleetway, Chronicles and post-2010 games portrayals. I think it’s abudantly clear on this blog why I love him so much :3 Portrayals that I especially adore are his Storybook game and Unleashed ones for absolutely nailing his personality. Amazing and fun to watch abilities, fallibility despite them, fascinating personality and an absolutely brilliant and timeless design are all factors in why he’s my fave fictional character period let along fave Sonic character.
#2 - DR EGGMAN
Again, Game, X, Boom and OVA versions ONLY. SatAM!Robotnik is Robotnik in name only and Archie Eggman is a tad too fickle and extreme in his evil for my tastes. Hands down the series’ best villain and a deliciously evil and yet very amusing and dimensional character as well. Some of the coolest things that happened in this series were his doing. An absolutely irreplaceable classic of a character.
#3 - AMY ROSE
Horribly flanderized and obnoxious portrayals aside, I love this gal for her compassion, determination, fortitude and niceness….well, when she’s in a good mood XD She’s so genki and fun to watch.
#4 - TAILS
Horrid SLW portrayal aside, who doesn’t love Tails? He’s so cool and I just adore his brotherly dynamic with Sonic. And all those cool inventions :DAlso fun to play as with his flying ability.
#5 - SHADOW
A compelling character who all too often is scapegoated for this series’ problems that aren’t even his fault specifically.Awesome powers, intriguing personality, great development and a genuinely cool design all make for a truly great character.
#6 - SALLY
When not treated with favoritism and shilled obnoxiously (Flynn), forced through chickification (Penders) or derailed into being a bitch for an agenda (Bollers) Sal is a great character who is unique as far as Sonic characters go for her realism regarding emotion and personality quirks. Which makes her quite relatable when written well. I also love her maternal side :)
#7 - SHAHRA
Like Sal, relatable for the elements of realism to her character. Her dynamic with Sonic is also incredibly entertaining and she has a really pretty design.
#8 - CALIBURN
Again, like Shahra, he has a genuinely entertaining character dynamic with Sonic that was genuinely funny and has a very unique personality as far as Sonic characters go, being very strict and uptight. Also voiced by SANJI (Hiroaki Hirata).Which is a bonus.
#9 - BLAZE
Has perhaps one of the most interesting bits of character development ever seen in this series. Also gets uniqueness points for being the only female character with a Super-like form. ALSO has a great dynamic with Sonic, being introverted compared to his extroversion and yet emotional and reactive when pushed. Which contrasts with Sonic’s calmness and rationality in the same kind of scenario.
#10 - ORBOT & CUBOT
They paired here because they work so well together and are the only characters that really benefit from Pontaff’s writing style. Orbot slightly edges-out Cubot as my fave especially for his Unleashed portrayal due to his utter fearlessness in calling-out Dr Eggman’s idiocy and laughing at his expense.Cubot can be pretty amusing too.
Shadow's quills? The curve, length, placement of his quills are a complete drawing weakness for me.
Hm… I would recommend using the 3D model sheets that contain different angles on how his quills work. The best ones I would recommend are the Sonic Channel CG art, Shadow the Hedgehog (the one used for cinematic cutscenes and commercials), and Generations. You can find them on this blog by typing in his name, the games he’s in, or the 3D model tag. If you need to figure out his quill shape, I would recommend studying his quill by sketching. However, if you still can’t get the exact shape, you can try tracing his quills to figure out his shape if you have a digital art program. Otherwise, you can just experiment and try to figure out how his quills work if you’re trying to draw him.